Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Annika's First Birthday

Its hard to believe that a year has passed since we headed to the hospital in anticipation of the birth of our little girl. We stayed home until about 11 p.m. on Tuesday Jan. 27th 2009 watching recorded episodes of American Idol and trying to decide whether we should actually go to the hospital. I was a stubborn laboring women who didn't want to be sent home from the hospital because she had not progressed enough or was in "false labor." Finally eric convinced me to go and after an exam in triage we were told that we would be staying. That moment was surreal. We knew that we would be leaving the hospital with a real live BABY. We had no idea what we were in for. Parenting has proven to be every bit as difficult AND every bit as rewarding as we could have imagined. When people ask me if being a mom is what I thought it would be I usually respond by saying it is the hardest "job" I have ever had but that it is also the most fun and rewarding. I often ask Eric what we did before we had did we fill our days?!

We have been blessed with such a fun-loving happy little girl. Hardly a day goes by that I don't hear from someone what a happy baby we have. She squeals when she sees pictures of the people she loves...aunties, grandmama, grandpa, nana, papa, cousins, friends, and especially herself:). She laughs when her mommy and daddy act like fools to entertain her, but only her cousin ethan can get the really good belly laughs out of her. She says mama and dada and bebe (I think she says it in spanish:)). She loves dogs and cats. She loves to play the piano and sing. Her very favorite activity is rearranging furniture (for some reason she loves pushing our chairs around). The more people that are around her the better. She loves airports...I think its the people watching she loves...BUT when she is done, she's done (just like her mama). She loves blueberries more than anything. She is very ticklish. She is a talker. She is precious and we couldn't have asked for a better first year with her. Annika your mommy and daddy love you very very much and can't believe that God has entrusted us with you.

For Annika's first birthday we decided to make a trip out of it to see friends and family in Arizona and San Diego, which meant two birthday parties. We saw our little girl grow up so much in one week. She knows how big she is (so big), she knows how to say Bella, and she knows how to devour cupcakes! Most importantly, she knows how to walk! Yes, Annika's first steps came in a bunch of 5 and she has been off to the races, but only when she wants to. We are clearly in new territory.
Heather threw Annika a birthday party at her house with some their friends, it was a lot of fun and Annika loved her new outfits and cupcakes. Aunt Heather and Co. made her birthday memorable, thank you!

It took all of 1.2 seconds after blowing out the candle for her to dig into the cupcake, and about 90 second to finish it off.
Ok, so here is a little bit of reality when hanging out with Heather and David, you never know what David will do next, as evidenced by this male stretching exercise, which as you can see, even Annika thinks is a little strange.
I love my new outfit from aunt bam! and sleeping on the couch waaaayyy past my bedtime.

Part two of our trip was to San Diego, where Annika got to wake up seeing her best friend Harper. It took a second to sink in, but once they realized who they were seeing it was like old times. Audi threw a great party, from food to decorations. It was a great memory and fun to see everyone.

"I have this cupcake thing down!" "Bath time is a party!"
Helping mom on the Wii and letting us know how big she is.
And finally, a lovely little sunset from our backyard. This time of year is mostly foggy, but when the fog clears the views are great. Yes the valley can be very pretty:)

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I love cooking. I come from a family of cooks and I definitely caught the bug. My grandmother had the most amazing garden with every kind of fresh fruit and vegetable you could imagine and she took full advantage of all of those fresh offerings by putting together the most delicious meals for our family every Sunday afternoon. My mother is an amazing cook as well. She doesn't use many recipes. She just gets a general idea of what ingredients to use and then creates amazing dishes that I haven't quite figured out how to replicate, though not for lack of trying! My sister also loves to cook and is so good at trying new recipes and finding meals that appeal both to little ones and big ones.

It is only natural that I would find comfort in the kitchen. Before we left San Diego I was a little sad in anticipation of having to say goodbye to all of our friends so I prepared lots of meals that reminded me of northern California to help me to get excited about our move. Artichokes, asparagus, sour dough bread, yummy cheeses, good wine and lots and lots of garlic.

It took me a while to get used to my new kitchen here, but I finally feel like I'm back. We had our neighbors over the other night for dinner and it got me excited about cooking again. In my book there are few things better than dinner parties. It all started with a delicious glass of Talbott Kali Hart Chardonnay which provided inspiration for a yummy shrimp pasta. A good glass of wine...or any beverage you happen to enjoy...can be a great source of inspiration in the kitchen. Pour yourself one and lose yourself in the joy of cooking!

p.s. I could give you a million excuses for why I did NOT get up early the other morning (or all subsequent mornings) like I said I would...but bottom line is I am still fully enjoying my morning sleep-ins. That will soon come to an end so I decided I might as well take advantage right?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


So I am probably the most spoiled mommy in the world. I know that. My husband gets up at 7 pretty much every morning with our baby and lets me sleep until 8/8:30...sometimes 9. In fact, on Sundays when we used to go to the 11 o'clock church service, Eric would often let me sleep all the way through Annika's morning nap and we wouldn't wake up until 10 when it was time to get ready for church. Yep, spoiled. As a result I toss and turn until at least 12 every night trying to fall asleep. Being that I will be starting work in about a month and will be working days for at least the first few months I have decided that I need to retrain myself to be a morning person. Incidentally, I used to have no trouble getting up early...during my pregnancy my best hours of sleep were from 4 am on, so I got used to sleeping later in the morning. My goal is to be out of the house tomorrow morning by 7:30 for my morning run. There, now that I've said it to all of you I may actually be motivated to get my butt out of bed!